High above the Chaos on the ground, the battle was a very different one. The Mecha had absolutely dominated the Scourge Mothership, and the three Cutters that remained in orbit had blasted it very nearly beyond repair before it began to retreat.

Realistically, they could refuse to let it retreat, as the Cutters were the faster vessel, but they couldn't get ahold of the Commander or the forces on the ground after that pulse, and minimizing their own casualties was every Reaver force's primary concern.

The Kepler Military might sacrifice Battalions for a greater cause, but not a single officer in what was now the Terminus Trading Company was willing to do that.

Though most still considered themselves Kepler Officers to some extent, there was no doubt that the willingness to follow the sort of Suicidal commands that Central Command often issued was entirely gone.

They would never be able to return to being meat for the grinder.

Max saw the light of Plasma Cannons flashing around him through the mass of Sentinels and realized that while the mechanical killing machines were active, they were not fully functional. Their energy shielding and energy weapons were all offline, as well as some of the tentacles on the Sentinels that he was fighting.

That was letting the Plasma Cannons rip through multiple targets, thinning out the crowd of Sentinels in a hurry as Max furiously hacked through the mass of metal.

With a kick to a shiny silver head, he threw himself up in the air and fired a burst of Plasma back down at the spot where he had been standing, creating a new opening for him to fight in, and giving him a moment to assess the battlefield.

Most of the Corvette Class units were back online, as well as about a third of the Line Mecha, all of which had chosen to engage in melee combat to preserve the limited energy in the power packs that they had been sent, and that seemed to be enough to form a barrier around the disabled Mecha that was holding steady as the timer to reboot on the Heavy Mecha's power plants counted down the seconds.

Screams of horror rang through the Cruise Ship portion of Terminus as Max landed back among the sentinels, and Nico gave a wry smile. With the damage the Sentinels had taken, Max was not only stronger and faster, but he was also more heavily armed, and his Mobile Suit was still showing itself to be in above average condition, with the feet Max had been using to kick Sentinels being the most damaged portion of the entire armor.

Nico made a note to update that design for increased durability as Max hacked his way through another wave of Scourge attackers and retreated back to the line of Mecha.

There were now 60 seconds left on his reboot timer, and once that was up the First Battalion would unleash the full fury of a Kepler Armored Strike Force on the scourge menace.

[Commnader, the mothership has retreated. The Scourge forces on the planet are now isolated and abandoned. Battalions two through four have passed the outer atmosphere. Do you copy Commander.]

The message was a great relief to everyone on the planet, even the Pirates, who knew that they weren't in for a good time and weren't going to win this engagement, especially with their ships offline due to the scourge attack.

[Copy that, Second Battalion. One minute on the reboot of the Heavy mecha and we will be back online. Spread into a defensive landing pattern, in case they try the same thing again.] Max ordered.

[Problem Neutralized.] Nico's happy voice came over the radio, a half second before the drones targeted a point on the ground and three Orbital Lances from the incoming Cutters lit up the sky.

That might be overkill, but if it worked, they wouldn't need to worry about the Scourge disabling the rest of their Mecha.

Max made it back behind the line, and a pair of Line Mecha stepped in to block the sentinels that were still following him, burning some of their precious power reserves to wipe out a whole rank of attackers with their Ion Cannons.

Max made it back to Enduring Rage just in time for the lights to start coming online as the Mecha powered back up.

[Fifteen Seconds until full output and operational readiness.] The Mecha's onboard computer informed him happily as he entered and strapped himself into the seat, not even bothering to remove the Mobile Suit, only disabling the power assistance in the hands, since it couldn't keep up with his fingers during piloting maneuvers.

The sentinels wouldn't slow their attacks. They knew that they were expended resources at this point, and their only remaining function was to do as much damage as possible before they were eliminated.

[There is an official request from the Innu High Chancellor for the remains of a Scourge Sentinel if possible. They want to add it to their museum of mechanical development, as a warning to future generations about the dangers of artificial intelligence evolving in the wild.] Nico informed Max.

[Then come get it yourself. We're a bit busy here.] Max replied, knowing that she had actually meant after the battle was complete.

[I suspect that if his guards didn't stop him, he would be on his way already. Drones will be in position for a planetary sensor net in ten seconds. We will await guidance from your Targeting data.] Nico replied, ending the message with a digital smiley face.

Max sighed in relief. At least she was still paying attention to the essentials, even when she was taking care of the tourists.

[All Units, prepare for linked targeting data in 3,2,1 NOW. Fire at will, full output. Let's put on a show for our guests.] Max ordered.

All four Battalions were in position, or at least mostly in position, when Max gave the order to fire, and the rolling boom of the Thunder Cannons echoed across the region, marking the moment that the Super Heavy mecha came to life, and the Scourge threat realized that their time had ended.

Chapter 361: Rescue
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